of Valencia (about 1511-32), the tombs of King Juan II in the Cartuja de Miraflores, that of the Infante Don Juan at Avila, those of Inigo de Mendoza and his wife at Burgos, and the kneeling statue of Padilla. They are, it must be confessed, delicate and gorgeous rather than grand. Marble and alabaster are treated like metal and lace; beauty is sought in details and no longer in grand and simple lines. To the Spanish Saracens belongs the invention of a dwelling combining with convenience and suitability to their climate a high degree of beauty. Nowhere else has a fortress been made a home of strength and beauty like the Alhambra (mainly fourteenth century) and the other alcazars of Spain. The semi-oriental domestic architecture adopted by the Christians of Andalusia is seen at its best in the so-called Casa de Pilatos at Seville (1521). Here there is no need to guard against the weight of snow, no cold to be kept out, no smoke to blacken; so the roof becomes a terrace, the arch is reared in fairy lightness, the glaze and colour of brilliant tiles replace the heavy wainscot and arras; stucco moulded into geometrical designs and harmoniously coloured makes up for the lack of pictures and for the scantiness of the furniture. The Lonja or Silk-Exchange at Valencia (1482) is an example, not without parallel, of the successful wedding of late Gothic design to Saracen detail of window (ajimez) and decoration. As a subject race the Saracens continued almost to monopolise the more delicate industrial arts. Theirs are the pottery of metallic sheen, and the exquisite designs of lace and filigree, damascening and inlaying-which with the rich silks and velvets testify to their skill as handicraftsmen and to their exquisite taste in form and colour.
Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/419
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